Loetscher Campaign going into this weekend… see definitions for “quicksand,” “death spiral,” “free fall”

I’ve been talking to friends in Sioux Falls in about the state of the Mayoral race, and it really doesn’t sound good for Jolene Loetscher’s chances going into the weekend.

I’ve heard terms referring to the Loetscher Campaign going into this weekend like “quicksand,” “death spiral,” and that her campaign is “in free fall” at this point.

The last chance to change minds, the Argus Leader/KSFY debate, didn’t change anyone’s mind other than to solidify that TenHaken is a Republican, and Loetscher is a hard-left Democrat. Which should not surprise anyone.

Now, there’s nothing left but getting out the vote.

As one person noted to me, they could not recall when a candidate for municipal office had had that many hard body blows inflicted on them in one day in reference to Loetscher’s electoral woes.  They rattled off:

  1. The police press release calling her ad misleading, and disagreeing with her claims of police support.
  2. The Argus Leader article decrying her utter lack of transparency.
  3. The release of the investigation results by the Sheriff/DCI noting no evidence.
  4. The eventual release of ‘the voice mail,’ which underlined her embellishment of the whole voice mail incident.
  5. The ‘dog poo collection as biotechnology’ embellishment.

..and not only were each of these hard blows to her campaign efforts, but they were all unforced errorsThey were largely preventable, self-inflicted episodes of stupid.

Lets not kid ourselves. Political campaigns naturally lend themselves to puffery. But it can backfire, and can be seriously injurious to a campaign.

I had a candidate I was helping once who wanted to claim in a letter to supporters that they were the chief deputy within a Sheriff’s office, because he did that job. But he did not have the title and in the office, the Sheriff made the decision there was to be no Chief Deputy.  I noted that I didn’t think it was a good idea, but they insisted.

Guess what the opponent turned into a 2-3 day news story, including quotes from his boss that there was no chief deputy?  Ugh. And we ended up losing by 100 votes.

Puffery and embellishment are largely the cause of Loetscher’s woes this week, and it just didn’t need to happen.  Why claim you had police support when you didn’t? Why claim ‘hacking’ and try to finger your opponent when you have no evidence of it? Why claim you’re a biotechnology pioneer, when you actually have a business collecting dog poo and shipping it to a lab?

Sioux Falls is coming off a mayoral term of office where the incumbent was called out for his embellishments. Does anyone think the media is going to give those who want to be his successor a pass on exaggeration? NO!

Everyone running for mayor did ran including transparency in their platforms because the citizens of Sioux Falls are weary of the kind of leadership style they’ve had for the past 8 years. So, when Loetscher started to exhibit the same hucksterism Mayor Mike Huether has been criticized for, there’s not going to be any free passes given.

The campaign blows of this week could not have come at a worse time for Loetscher. Each of them landed to devastating effect, and each of them underlined the basic problem of her constant over-embellishment, and questionable truth.

On top of it, since some of it was part of a negative campaign directed at her opponent, she made it even worse for herself. Because TenHaken’s supporters are irritated, motivated, and fully engaged at the same time hers are demoralized and moving away.

As long as TenHaken’s supporters get out to campaign and get out to vote, this should go the way it needs to go. Sioux Falls is ready to get rid of the embellishment, & hucksterism they’ve grown weary of.

And that means it should be “no go Jo” on May 1.

18 thoughts on “Loetscher Campaign going into this weekend… see definitions for “quicksand,” “death spiral,” “free fall””

  1. This was a 60-40 race going into the runoff. I doubt much has changed. Loetscher had the libs. TenHaken had the social conservatives and insiders.

    The rest of the GOP leaning electorate will follow.

  2. Loetscher doesn’t have the crossover appeal Huether did.

    TenHaken isn’t Kermit Staggers turning off the voters in the middle.

    Essentially the roles are reversed from 2010. Fringe candidates lose.

  3. Rick Knobe has done such a wonder job orchestrating “JO’s” campaign, maybe he should consider helping the Maitre d’ in his quest to change South Dakota 🙂

  4. My facebook feed has been full of friends of mine that were huge Jolene supporters before this debacle, saying they are no longer going to vote in the election because of this. One even went as far as saying if they do end up voting it will be for Paul.

  5. I was at the Frampton/Miller concert last night. Saw two solid, enthusiastic Jo supporters from the first election. They saw me coming and he said “Don’t even go there. We made a mistake.” So, we talked about Frampton’s performance (good when singing but too much “jamming) and expectations about Steve Miller Band (totally excited and I thought he hit a home run).

    I would not be surprised if she gets less total actual votes this time around.

    1. I sure hope you’re right Troy. We can’t get complacent though we need to encourage people to get out and vote!!

      1. Nah! this will be an easy win for Team Ten Haken. Might as well carry on as usual. Go see the Avengers Infinity War or get that spring clean up done.

  6. I live on the south part of SF, I have had 3 neighbors on my street put Jo signs in their yard after she walked through the neighborhood this week, 1 of them took down a TenHaken sign to do so, we were not home at the time so i am unsure what the exact message was but my neighbor to the south told me he personally was impressed that she stopped by.

    I think 55-45 win for Paul is likely

  7. I laughed off the comment about people taking down Jo’s yard signs. On the way to school, we noticed 2 homes no longer endorsing her. Maybe the wind, whatever it was the signs were gone. Are there any others who’d consider rescinding their endorsement? Kenny Anderson, break your chains brother and be the leader SF knows you to be. The evidence is there, you just have to notice it.

    Jo seemed to become more and more progressive as the campaign rolled on. Everyone is a victim, well everyone who supports her is. Too bad, many residents are fiscally conservative with a socially liberal attitude. We want all people to enjoy their rights and freedoms, but when you support more govt control our interest in your leadership fades.

  8. I think it will be 60-40 Paul. He probably had it from the get-go, but Loetscher could have easily gotten to 53-47, but this week’s events haven’t helped her at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw an Argus endorsement for Paul before Tuesday.

  9. I was at the YP event Paul had last night and there was a large and enthusiastic crowd. The biggest takeaway was the fear that all of Jo’s errors this week will lead people to think Paul has it in the bag and not vote. GOTV efforts the next few days will be key to reinforcing the message: “Don’t rest on our laurels, make sure you vote!”

    1. Anon – I was there too. BIG turnout of young people there. They’ve had three young professionals meetups for Paul and this was by far the biggest one. Team TenHaken definitely has the momentum.

  10. The Loetscher campaign debacle would be a good case study for a candidate training session about how to majorly screw up a campaign.

  11. Whatever you do, don’t think TenHaken has it in the bag and skip the vote. Get out there and make it a resounding victory for conservatism and family values!

    1. Conservatism ? I will conservatively hold my opinion until some results can be measured. I understand that the term has enormous appeal and many use it to fool others.

  12. Dang, Powers, Jo is all over your blog. Almost every question and answer had to do with one of your posts.

    I thoroughly enjoyed how she thinks the Biotech Association should’ve reached out to her. Again, she’s the victim… it’s not my fault it’s the association.

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